This is another one of the many magical places in California. Añu Nuevo State Park, about 20 miles north of Santa Cruz, on Highway 1. The park draws visitors from around the world, especially between mid-December and end of March, when every year up to 10,000 elephant seals return to breed, give birth, and molt their skin amongst the scenic dunes and beaches. During this period you have to book a guided walking tour in order to see these extraordinary marine mammals. You can also watch them in the Point Reyes National Seashore or at Piedras Blancas (Central Coast).